Category Archives: bike
bikes of course.
So my boy Steevo, who recently (re)posted some of the great photos from our 2006 Great Divide trip, just wrote an article for Urban Velo called Riding Is My Religion. For those of you who don’t ride bikes often or at all, you may miss the subtleties of what makes riding so beautiful. And what I’ve always said is that it is not the actual act of bicycling that brings so much joy (though that does too!), but what bikes open your life up to. It’s a medium. It’s metaphorical. It’s often unbelievable. Steevo captures it well in this piece. Read it!
I am 29 and have been riding bikes as a part of my life for 25 years. Ever since my mom took me to Louise Moore Park to sign up for BMX racing because I was too young for baseball at 4.
I just filled out an application for a race and it asked for ‘the highest age I would reach in 2008′. The answer for me is: 30. I’m not one of those people who is making a big deal about being 30, but I do recognize it as some sort of marker in my life. When I think about being thirty I get that feeling that you get when you wake up in your tent somewhere far from home and just can’t believe that you are where you are. Like getting there and being there is some sort of secret that you discovered. Like you’ve somehow fooled the world by getting away with what you are doing. Which reminds me, it has been awhile since I’ve spent some time in a tent or bivy sac.
Last night I was riding back from the YMCA over the 1st bridge, which is under construction because of the Gold Line Extension to East LA, and I took my first-ever road spill. I’ve fallen off a bike many (many!) times between bmx, mountain biking, track-bike tricks, etc, but never JRA (Just Riding Along).
I was distracted momentarily when a construction worker I did not see made some noise to my left as I rode up to the apex of the bridge. It was nothing though. I went back to thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner, when a bunch of flashing lights in front of me came into view on the end of the bridge as I was beginning to go downhill. That was enough for me to not see the big rocks in the lane. I flew over the bars so quick I barely had time to react! I’ve almost been thrown over the bars before riding my track bike, so I know how to get out of it, but the combination of leaning forward (looking ahead) and my downhill speed I was sliding along the ground before I knew it.
Reacted quickly enough to make sure I wasn’t in any traffic and to grab my bike before someone drove over it. My bike was fine and I only had a scrap so I hopped back on and rode the last mile home. Jack (thanks!) had just put on a whole new drive train, including a rear wheel he built up for me, but everything was fine.
(Always looking for an excuse to post food pics)
One of the reasons I started a blog was to compile thoughts, projects, groups, adventures, etc that I find interesting, important, entertaining, ridiculous, etc in one place. These ideas, concerns, evaluations, etc may seem unrelated, but to me the beauty of them all is the space between their relation. Like the bicycle. For many it is a component in an athletic endeavor and nothing more. In a way I am slightly envious of some people’s ability to narrow the use of something till it has one specific function. But, obviously, I think the bicycle is way more dynamic. Sure, you consume fewer resources when you bicycle instead of drive a motor vehicle. But people who bicycle, in my subjective, non-researched opinion, live lifestyles that consume less overall. Right?
Check out this Jared Diamond article in the NY Times:
What’s Your Consumption Factor?
Here is my favorite part:
‘Real sacrifice wouldn’t be required, however, because living standards are not tightly coupled to consumption rates. Much American consumption is wasteful and contributes little or nothing to quality of life. For example, per capita oil consumption in Western Europe is about half of ours, yet Western Europe’s standard of living is higher by any reasonable criterion, including life expectancy, health, infant mortality, access to medical care, financial security after retirement, vacation time, quality of public schools and support for the arts. Ask yourself whether Americans’ wasteful use of gasoline contributes positively to any of those measures.’
This chapter of the Story of Stuff fits right in. I love the noise the Golden Arrow makes (but only in the video. I hate the noise it makes in real life).
Come check this out. Fun times.
Thursday, December 13, 2007, 7-10 pm
at the new Bike Oven location!
Special LACBC screening! We will be joined by director Sasha Edge, as well as the four cyclists who braved the Furnace Creek 508 on fixed gear bikes.
Cover: $5 LACBC Members, $10 Non-members
Membership deal: Join tonight for just $30, and get in FREE!
Brought to you by Swarm!, Scoops, Orange 20 Bikes, Coffee Cellar, and Pure Luck Restaurant.
Beer generously donated by New Belgium Brewing!
Screening at 8pm, but come early for food, coffee and ice cream (vegan too!).
someone could do to be a better cyclist and he said
“Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike”
Riding to the ride not only increases your mileage, fitness and experience, but each time you replace a car trip with a bike trip you:
Increase the visibility of cyclists: making the roads safer for everyone
Decrease pollution and smog: improving our air quality
Join us in improving the air and roads for cyclists by leaving your motor vehicle at home.
We need more bicycles in the streets. Who better to target than people already riding their bikes? The bicycle is far more than a recreational toy and I want to share that with others. Above is the text for a small flyer I am making to put on cars at the start of rides (or in Griffith Park, etc). I appreciate any feedback.
I got a couple of rides in during the holiday week, so on the weekend I had some extra time to waste on the interweb. I was looking for some cycling blogs, particularly ultra-cycling and touring stuff. I also was perusing for some new Southern California routes and groups to ride with. Assuming some people who read this blog have similar interests I’ll share them.
In the world of randonneuring only certain people are qualified to put on rides. This is why we had to travel to San Diego or SLO to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris. For 2008 there is finally a local group. The Pacific Coast Randos. Their rides seems to cost a little more than the others, but they do have a SAG vehicle running sweep, which some other rides do not have. They have some routes listed, but I think you have to pay for them. The San Diego Randonneurs have some Permanent routes on their site with direct links to the routes. Awesome.
Down in Orange County, where I ride occasionally there is a group called the OC Rebel Riders who have multiple route slips online. There are actually some nice, quiet sections of Sprawl County. The Ultra Rob blog has a recent post about web pages to map your own rides to share with others. I am also considering submitting my blog to Great Cycling blogs, but I am unsure if mine qualifies as great.
This is just amazing: 1001 lists to read before you die. This list references Ghandi: Top Ten Things to Think About if You Want to Change the World. Lastly, if you are vegan or interested in political prisoners, the Green Scare, etc, you probably know about Eric McDavid who is in prison on suspected Earth Liberation Front activity. The article Conspiracy of Dunces explains the role of the FBI in his case.
When I was 15, BMX was my life. More so than I could ever describe. Fortunately I grew up around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which was, arguably, the BMX capitol of the country. It was the early 90′s (pre X-games) and dirt jumping was breaking away from racing and merging with ‘freestyle’. Suddenly everyone was riding everything; trails, street, skateparks. The best riders could do it all. I was best at trails. Posh trails and the locals (what’s up Mach-6, Markie, Sal, Lonergan, Keith, Joe, Griffin) being harsh, but good teachers for a young kid like myself. I was still traveling to BMX races, but soon it was more to ride the local trails then to race some boring NBL track. My style of riding was progressing as I was riding more and more.
In Pennsylvania there is a long, cold winter with no trail riding so we would ride street. This includes 180ing down staircases, grinding ledges and jumping gaps. The bike companies (we’d only support rider owned ones like S&M bikes) were just catching up with making components (called parts) and bikes that could hold up to the abuse we’d put them through. We were often left to improvise. My favorite being a yellow mag I found in Tucker’s backyard. I threw that ugly thing on my bike and felt so ‘street’. Riding street that winter would end up improving my trail riding. I was transitioning from a racing-style to a more all around rider with plenty of trail rider flow.
Our own local trails got plowed the next summer cause some whiny fun-hater called the police on us for loitering (can you call it loitering when you are either digging or riding?). It was a sad day and my mag wheel, after almost a year of use, was ready to be put down. I buried it where the trails used to be. It did not take long for surburban sprawl to take over and now there is a new neighborhood on top of my wheel.
Anyway, I put a mag on my track bike and I am stoked. Am hoping that this story will stop my friends from referring to it as a hipster wheel.
I was in New York City last weekend and went to the Time’s Up! 20-year anniversary party. I’ve always loved this group and am envious because we do not have a similar organization here in Los Angeles. In NYC there is such a huge overlap of environmental organizations, bike advocates/riders/etc, punks, and activists that organizations like this spring up (and exist for two decades!). Is it me, or here in LA are those all distinct, separate categories? Is the geographical layout of the cities that literally causes the overlap? I am constantly trying to sort out how and why I love NYC and LA equally. After riding around Manhattan and Brooklyn for two days in beautiful weather I sure do miss being out there. Is it possible to take the good from NYC and apply it to LA? Surely I am not the only one thinking about this.
There are some things you do not see every day and I am thankful when I have my camera with me. In these shots I was able to get two obscure sitings simultaneously: an Earth Crisis t-shirt and a guy with a cat on his head.